Your diet becomes ever more important as you age. Your mind and body changes over time and you may find it harder to digest certain foods in your golden years. Many people find out they have developed an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to certain foods spontaneously. While others come to realize they’ve always have problems digesting certain foods by finally confirming it through testing. You may be making strides toward become vegan, or simply need to eliminate or reduce the amount of dairy in your diet. If so, here are 5 easy ways to cut dairy from your diet.
Vegan Dairy Replacements
Dairy milk products have plenty of replacements nowadays. Basic milk and coffee creamer substitutes are easy to come by, with soy, almond and coconut milk and creamers being readily available. Rice, hemp and cashew milk can also be found in the refrigerated and shelf stable supermarket sections. You can make many of these milks at home as well, and using a blender to make naturally sweet banana milk is a delicious and fresh alternative.
Thicker cream versions of non-dairy milks can be made into cream replacements. Canned coconut cream is often found in the Asian section of supermarkets. Homemade and packaged milks can have thickeners like tapioca or corn starch mixed in. Nut and seed milks can have their whole food ingredients blended in and strained to make thicker versions of their milks.
There are a few options for non-dairy cheese. Soy and almond milk cheeses are the most common, but you can also find coconut milk cheeses and other nut milk cheese and cream cheese substitutes.
4. Creamy Foods
Most creamy foods, like pudding, ice cream, yogurt and sour cream can be made from soy and nut milk bases. Some substitutes fair better than others with cooking or freezing, but there are packaged products with great formulations that take the guess work out of homemade variations. Creamy salad dressings can be made in a variety of ways and many of the non-dairy cream substitutes will work.
Tofu, a soy based gelatinous product, can also be used to make puddings and cheesecake-like desserts. Soaked cashews and fresh coconut cream are common vegan ways to make puddings and cheesecakes as well.
Butter substitutes can be found far and wide now. Coconut oil is hugely popular and vegetable oil spreads have been around for years. Try to avoid margarine and trans fats, and use organic vegetable spreads made without canola oil. Coconut butter and food-grade pure cocoa butter are also good options. Most butter replacements will also work for things like buttercream frosting or buttery pastry crusts.
Non-Vegan Dairy Replacements
If your non-dairy diet still includes animal products you can use rendered chicken, pork or even bacon fat as a butter substitute in savory foods, like biscuits or dumplings.
Cutting dairy from your diet can seem like a hard task at first. Preparing your own food may be the easiest way to make sure you’re eating what is best for your body. If you do like to eat at restaurants many now have non-dairy options. But you’ll likely have to avoid foods made with cream, milk or cheese all together. Opt for a salad with an oil based dressing and no cheese. Get a burger with in a lettuce wrap if you’re not sure if the bun contains butter or milk. And order dairy-free sorbet or a fruit bowl instead of cheesecake and ice cream, just to be safe.